Increased Frequency of Sexual Activity May Have Protective Effects on Cardiovascular Health
Sexual activity can support a person’s cardiovascular health. In fact, according to the results of a new study, increased frequency of sexual activity may have protective effects on the overall health and quality of life of patients with hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure).
Hypertension is a major global health issue that often has no obvious symptoms. It can lead to serious complications and even death. Nevertheless, several studies suggest that more sexual activity may be linked to better health and longevity.
Therefore, the authors of the current study aimed to see if decreased sexual frequency was associated with early death in young and middle-aged people with hypertension using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2014.
For this investigation, the researchers focused on people aged 20 and older who had taken the NHANES. They excluded people without sexual behavior data, follow-up information, or without hypertension (as diagnosed by doctors based on medical history or blood pressure levels). Overall, 4,565 participants were included in the analysis.
The participants completed questionnaires about their sexual behavior as well as other health related information in a private room at the examination site. The section on sexual behavior focused on how often participants had vaginal or anal sex in the past year.
Other factors such as age, sex, education, and health conditions were considered in the final analysis. All-cause mortality, meaning death from any cause until December 31, 2015, was the main outcome of the study. Mortality data from the NHANES records was used to track participants’ survival status from their interview date.
Baseline characteristics of the individuals with hypertension showed that more than half were men and more than half were married. The participants had an average age of 40.60 years at the time of enrollment. During a median follow-up period of 68 months, 2.39% of participants died.
The analysis revealed that participants with a sexual frequency of 12-51 times/year and >51 times/year had lower risks of all-cause mortality compared to those with a frequency of <12 times/year. Even after adjusting for various factors, this relationship remained significant. Furthermore, this trend was consistent across different marital status groups.
These findings suggest that higher sexual frequency may be associated with lower risks of all-cause mortality among hypertensive patients. However, there are a few possible explanations for this association.
First, healthier individuals may engage in more sexual activity. Second, sexual activity might directly contribute to cardiovascular health. Lastly, a satisfying marriage could promote sexual activity, reducing stress and enhancing relationship connection, ultimately improving cardiovascular outcomes.
While further research on this topic could clarify the association between frequency of sexual activity and cardiovascular health, these results indicate that increased sexual activity may be protective of a person’s cardiovascular well-being.
For more information on this topic, please read this publication from The Journal of Sexual Medicine:
Luo, C., Xu, S., Bao, S., Zhang, B., Zhong, X., Huang, Z., Li, P., & Liang, J. (2023). Association between sexual frequency and all-cause mortality in young and middle-aged patients with hypertension: a cohort study of patient data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2014. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 20(8), 1078-1084. https://doi.org/10.1093/jsxmed/qdad079